Fear of the times

Drought is one word that sends normally sane people into periods of depression, walking on eggshells around each other and periods of high stress. This has been proven, there are many organisations that provide workshops, individual and private counselling for mental health and financial advice. Groups form to “catch up” so it gives people time to get off the farms and away from the situation even for an hour or so.

A lot of the women in farming families feel the stress of this greatly as they cope with what it all brings. It’s not like depression though, that is a different element, if you suffer from depression I am positive it would be harder to manage this, the farmer and the change in lifestyle if you do. Luckily I can only imagine how much harder it is for people with depression to cope during difficult times when families depend on that person more. We must watch out for each other during these difficult times as it is only people who keep people going.

Some days are harder than others and with all of the white noise around concessional drought loans (there have been minimal allocated in South Australia) from what sounds like political argy bargy many are going hat in hand to the Banks. It has been decided SA or parts of SA like the South East & Mid North are in drought after record-breaking lack of rain falls yet the State Government is playing politics with federal allocation of money that can assist some farmers during this time.

I wonder sometimes about the choices we make with voting our politicians in, there is no doubt they all go into politics to ‘help people out’ yet most of the time it looks like grand standing, self-absorption and self-importance, doesn’t it? These people are making decisions they rarely know anything about and do it thinking about the deficit they have created in the economy. Many people need financial assistance especially here in the South East but feel it will only be given out whilst taking from the back pocket with drainage levy hike, NRM levy hike and what ever else is next . This leaves many wondering if politicians really do know what it’s like to live rurally? they have good salaries, fantastic accessible pension funds from the day they leave office, they use the tax payers money for dinners, bottles of wine, business class and first class trips around the country and the world then come back and tell us all to tighten our belts. I often wonder if this mentality will ever change, if you can get away with the finer things in your job then one suspects everyone would do it.

When I was a sales rep, I traveled for my job and often at conferences met up with other staff members. I vividly recall being told that on one representative I went with ate and drank the mini bar dry 3 times whilst they were there for 5 days. In a 10 day trip and my expenses of eating in cafes and pubs for the 10 days I was away were not as much as had to be paid for the other reps gluttony in 4.

I have been told dealing with the banks is almost as difficult, though most farmers plan for drought, they also plan to get income, either through stock sales or grain sales and hay sales to name a few. When in drought the crops don’t grow, so it can not be sold as there is nothing to sell. I had a lady email me to tell me the most humiliating thing that has happened to her during this hard period is having to go into the bank and sit across from her friend and be scrutinised over their spending habits even to be told her monthly coffee catch up with her friends (including the bank manager) was out of their budget. At that moment she writes, her stomach started churning, her palms started to sweat and she knew she was going to vomit.

There was only one way to get the overdraft and that was for her to get a job in her chosen profession, she is a lawyer and with no option open to her to work in this field and with a 3 month old at the time, she has taken a job in the meat works in the local town 4 days per week.Her husband has also taken off farm work, as a truck driver and she said over the last 6 months they have worked 60 to 80 hours per week and their daughter has seen more of the child care assistants than of her or her husband. They are coping and are managing financially. She writes that this saved the property from foreclosure and they are able to pay their bills on time. She has never returned to the coffee group as she can not face her friend again.

If you can assist with my drought ladies day in March 2016please let me know, sponsorship, gift bags and prizes. Dates and sponsors will be announced over the coming week. InOurPaddocks is going through the system to be a Not For Profit Charity so I will be able to issue tax-deductible receipts. Anyone can contact me through the Facebook page or here.

If you do need help call Life Line 13 11 14

#newneighbours #travellinghome #emus

#newneighbours #travellinghome

I took this photo yesterday on my way home.

#Buy #Sell #Swap pages

I’ve started the day ranting, after my big day driving for over 3 hours and bending doing Laser Hair Removal (my business) most of the day (a blog for tomorrow) I have woken with a really sore back to match my #still sore leg.

I am the generation that embraces social media, I have 2 face book accounts, established 1 for my High School reunion for all of my year graduates and we have had a great time connecting and a twitter account. Most mornings I get up and check face book before I start my days work. I also have 4 pages of logins so if something should happen to me a loved family member can close all these accounts instantly.

One thing I have started to unlike and not follow are the #Buy #Sell #swap pages since they became about puppy farms and cat farms (in my opinion). A constant almost daily stream of puppies & kittens to sell, with most stating pedigree parents, or parents on show. All this demonstrates to me is that they have adult dogs who may or may not be pedigree they have mated to make money. Most state vet checked, wormed and or micro-chipped, to me I think this is the least one can do with a litter of live product.

The prices are those of a pedigree but you get no papers, so I don’t know why any one would pay for a puppy that is just a puppy, if they are asking for over $300 then I would insist when they had the dog vet checked that they get them certified as pedigree – it’s is a $200 blood test but if I’m going to pay $300 or more than I would know I’ve helped the breeder pay to have the animal properly checked. The sale price will then include vet visits during pregnancy, I often wonder how many do this (have the bitch checked during pregnancy ) otherwise one gets the feeling they breed the animals factory style for the money. With over 10,000 animals surrendered to the RSPCA in South Australia last year – how many of these animals were bought from face book pages? Most of those were euthanized and face book sales seem to be increasing.

There has been a case on face book where someone even downloaded pictures of another person’s dogs who went to the effort of making them look inviting and cute and placed these pictures on his advertisement to sell his puppies. Good that someone who knew the other seller notified her and she asked him to take them down, informed potential buyers the dogs were even a different colour to the puppies in the pictures and asked admin to delete the false misleading post. It worked, but I wonder how many people have fallen to this false advertising but also the over whelming visual pull at the cuteness of the pictures and raced off to buy them not understanding the needs of the breed, the growth, the expense and the time-consuming event it is to raise a puppy to a dog, much like having a child the reality can be far from the fantasy. I see he still has the dogs for sale over 10 of them from ‘pedigree’ parents.

As fast as these sales are advertised so is the rescue sites for dogs, asking people to foster a dog till it finds a forever home’ some of these dogs are so traumatized it can take 6 to 12 months to socialize it. Some need to be put down and others remain with the foster parent as these people identify that the dog could not cope be re housed again. I wonder if the people selling animals even give second thought to the puppies & kittens? go and check out the circumstances and environment they are selling the animal into.

I also wonder if after the litter they do the bitch a favour and have her de-sexed or is it too tempting to rebreed her as the money they get is so much? most sales would be  undeclared as income as they would be cash only sales. I know of professional breeders who only allow the bitch one litter bi-annually and only 3 before they retire them or if they get in distress in pregnancy they have it de-sexed immediately after weaning.

If you are looking to purchase a puppy, check the RSPCA website (listed here for SA) for pictures of what is available, or check out the rescue dogs sites this way it would assist these organisations to get ready for the next incoming lot and decrease the commodity and impulse purchases from face book.  I hope the citizen’s jury on cat and dog management in South Australia take this into account and legislate against being able to use these sites for this reason, it is costing the tax-payers large amount of money to pay for other people’s stupidity.

#rant over


rescued cats

Shearers and Farmers Agree


I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement and the positive words on the face book page and my blog. I think it is vital we all have a voice for our animals and our trades, there are very few farmers in Australia and the world that advocate cruelty to animals, in any way shape or form. Not to say that we are all perfect we are not, but deliberate attempts by organisations to show the rogues (there are those in every industry) the randomness of the trades, the bullies and those that need education all differ and high light the fact that we need to support even these people.

We can take stock and look back now at what PETA has done and thank them, we can thank them for the unity they have created amongst us all. We need to thank them for the fact that they have put our industry in the fore front of people’s minds to defend it. we can thank them for highlighting how ignorance and discrimination can create change for the better.

We are better off with them than without them and I mean that, for if they had not been so determined in their lies, fake lambs, vegan spokes person (nothing wrong with being a vegan – though to a meat eater it’s a different life style choice) and tried to con Australia into believing that the wool industry is full of horrific practices we would not be having the support of Australia and beyond. Groups such as PETA can do some much good, like expose puppy farms, – take photos of those cruel people who deliberately cage dogs for profit, close that sector down.

PETA we invite you to come to our farm next time we are shearing, I will actually pen a letter to them – an open letter and post it and wait for their response. I hope they do take me up on the offer, in fact I say why don’t we all do it, I am happy to write this and will share it with you. Lets get them to film us and our teams of workers and make them understand the frustration, the heat, the barking dogs and the work makes long days and frayed tempers but it doesn’t make shearing the skin off sheep and leaving them to die in agony as their picture depicts.

My friends at www.baabaabrew.com.au in NSW property Goongirwarrie sent me a picture of one of their Merino Rams being shorn – how hard does this look?

Shearing the Ram


Life moves fast doesn’t it? taking the saying from Ferris Bueller’s day off and things change around us rapidly. Besides having to survive over 40 degree celsius heat with no electricity over the weekend. I have had lots of things change and some are permanent and others aren’t either way they have made me reflect and think about making changes to compensate.

I have had 3 friends battle significant health issues since December and sadly one of those friends we had to say good-bye to, the other two thankfully are still fighting on and inspiring many to change how they think and feel about their own health issues. I have had a male friend start to identify his weight as a problem and he is bravely and weekly putting this out on Facebook and from my recollection he is now approx. 25kg’s lighter and looking to lose another 20 or so more. He is inspiring others and I have told him he should blog about it as a male he would not be alone, but as a male they commonly don’t share this type of struggle never alone post the weighing scales weekly – what an amazing bloke, he makes me stop at the fridge door and ask myself why am I eating? Weight is something we all have a battle with mostly don’t we?

I have another friend who has had an episode of gout and referred back to the battle of one of our other friends saying it’s nothing compare to what she is going through. I did agree but it all becomes relative doesn’t it? But it was lovely to read and see that people wish to share, these are men and women from my high school days and it makes me feel part of their lives following our 1st reunion over 12 years ago. Facebook is great for this type of thing.

I look around me and see our farm and see how hard we are working in this drought and I know others are doing it tough, the business I opened in December is now virtually non-existent, it is 4 days per month, I had such big plans but living in a rural community where people spend money on food for stock rather than themselves I now need to wait it out till we get a break, it is distressing.

I also woke this week following horrific heat wave over 3 days to see that the beautiful Pete, my nearly 17-year-old Golden Retriever’s smoky eye has whitened up and he is having problems seeing. I have started eye drop treatment and hopefully it will help him either get better or retain the sight in his good eye. I don’t want him to suffer any pain, so I am lucky to be able to get medical advice over the phone and by text. I know that he will not live forever and I will be sad when he goes, but as I said to dear daughter, he can still find his water and food bowls. He needs a little bit more intensive care than previously.

This year has started with challenges and I hope doesn’t end with them, I love winter and am looking forward to cooler weather, happier news and great times with friends.



Last day of 2014

To me this year has moved slowly, more slowly than many others, for some reason. It has been a trying year for most people I would think, this year started with a slow trickle, we caught up for drinks with old school friends in Adelaide and spent a lovely evening with them. One which I shall treasure for many years to come, it has been great connecting with my old friends from school, planning catch ups and events, I hope this continues throughout the rest of my life.

My lovely daughter bought a place and moved in with her partner and it has been great for me to be able to go to their place and spend time with her and with both of them, they gave us a treat at Christmas by having us over with other family members for dinner.

We have worked hard farming this year, it is a never-ending job one which is mainly a thankless task and going into a drought at the end of the year (now) hasn’t made anything any easier but that is farming and we’ll get through it. More rain from the rain gods please !!

We have been lucky this year, no family deaths but plenty of celebrations, birthdays, and a family get together, where all of us were in the same place for the first time in over 10 years. All my siblings 3 brother & 2 sisters, their partners, and their beautiful children. That was a fantastic day made possible by my older brother and it was sad it ended, we have had over 70’s 50’s & 1st birthday celebrations and that is joy of having a great big family.

May came and I partially ruptured my Achilles, running away from a charging steer but I won a Gourmand Award “Best in the World” Charity / fundraising cookbook for the Keith Hospital. I am now only recovering from the injury. The rest of the year has limped along with me to the end and I am taking stock today and planning on going into 2015 looking forward not behind.

I threw efforts into fund-raising for my old school, to help raise funds to upgrade the science laboratories and with the committee of hard working people and many other participants we raised over $37,000 a fantastic effort and yes I have chosen my charity to help in 2015, letters have gone out and I will be chasing them next week as the event is in April it is for YWCA. Contact me if you can help, it’s a breakfast picnic fund raiser, we need food & silent auction items.

To those of you who have struggled, suffered or limped along and made it through another year, I wish for you all nothing but happiness and better times. To all of you who have been in my life either in person, via twitter, via Facebook, via LinkedIn or even sms my wish for you all is to laugh more often, love more deeply and live for now. I look forward to talking with you all and catching up with you all in 2015. To those I didn’t catch up with this year, you are all in my thoughts and I still value our friendships.

Happy New Year to you all xxxx


Not a feel good blog

I feel tired and slightly strung out and struggling to rein in my attitude today. Hasn’t the last 7 days been trying? and I do mean in an unsettling way. We have watched  people being held against their will for 17 hours, we cried when we heard of the awful death two innocent people in the fallout whilst their family & friends were tortured waiting for an outcome. The thought that 3 small children and their partners are never going to hear another “Merry Christmas, I love you from them” is very distressing.

We learnt that this man has been on social security for 10 years absolutely no contribution to ANYTHING, I understand people don’t want to work out of their comfort zone, but we in the Tatiara have over 182 positions that need to be filled, we have apprenticeships going begging, and not enough people to fill them, our houses are affordably priced from $180,000 to $500,000 and a community that needs new growth. There would be hundreds more jobs and affordability of housing in rural and regional towns all over Australia, it’s just people won’t move away from the city – for fear they will (perhaps) miss something. Cheap housing and jobs should be enough for people to think lets give it a go for 12 months, save some money and get a work history, but there is no one forcing them so they stay and drain the public purse.

We have gasped in horror when we heard 8 children were murdered and the disbelief that it looks like the mother may have done this, where were these children’s fathers? How terrible for all of the families, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins to name but a few.

There would have been deaths from domestic violence, statistically 2 this week,  from road accidents and aging, all of these represent someone somewhere having a sad time during the festive season. Tears that fall that will never cease to fall, hands that will never be held again, smiles unreturned it will be a difficult

With all of this happening and the report released about the CIA torture it’s enough isn’t it? I know 99% of people don’t subscribe to practices of torture nor applaud those that do it to others Martin Place being case and point and to watch a television station roil out David Hicks as an expert was too much for me. I do not agree with his treatment but lets not make him relevant to any discussion, he didn’t go over to sell Tupperware he went to learn to fight and kill. He was convicted and no one will lift that conviction because he is not as innocent as he and his supporters want us to believe, he did go, he did participate, he did get caught. I make no apology for my views, lets hope he is not drawing on social security to support himself. I turned it off and got up.

Listening to the radio I hear not happy Christmas music but how all of the farmers are struggling in drought – it is not only QLD farmers suffering – it is all over Australia, it really is. I should know I am also watching it here on my own farm and I hate it. There is no joy in it and daily it is a mental hurdle to not be engulfed by it.

I stated this morning what I missed the most at this time of year other than family was the OPTION of going to a shopping centre and sitting having a coffee and watching the frenzy madness that Christmas brings. I have lost my IPod and am cleaning out cupboards, shelves etc to find it, I know that has happy music on it.

Sorry for the blog today people, as bad as I think my week was , it pales in comparison to those that are really suffering, the joys this week, my sister came and stayed, I have spoken with my beautiful daughter, mother, father, got messages from my brothers in other states. Caught up with beautiful friends and in-laws at my salon opening, called friends for birthday as I am now going to do this as well as face booking so if it’s your birthday and if you are important enough to be a face book friend you will get a call this year. I have sent and received Christmas cards – which I religiously did for many years and then stopped. I have laughed, cried and been part of family love, and I need to in the words of another dear friend @KateSwaffer “toughen up princess”.

finally the tree is complete



What I didn’t vote for

I saw something on my Facebook page yesterday that had me shaking my head and I commented (I know this is something I do) but I normally believe people have the right to vote for who they prefer, if the post annoys me I normally hide it rather than comment. But this was beyond the pale, it was a picture of Sean Abbott – who we ALL know would be struggling after the death of Phillip Hughes and the comment was, something like “this is the only Abbott 100% of  Australians are behind” I couldn’t believe my eyes, how disrespectful to Sean and his family, Phillip Hughes and his family and truly in #poorform which was the end of my comment. I couldn’t believe there are people who could use this Australia Changing tragedy and turn it on a politician. Which is also what I said, how could anyone want to turn this into a political statement.

I was telling someone about it on the phone later and I noticed the post has been deleted from its original page as well as from mine. Thank god there are more people out there who agree with me than not. We put our bat out in support of not only the Hughes family but the Abbott family who would be suffering greatly.

I can tell you all what I didn’t vote for, I didn’t vote for any politician to lie to me – they all have both Federal and State, I didn’t vote to see Women behave as badly as the men and I didn’t vote for the men to demote women and still talk about trust, I can’t trust any of them. I didn’t vote for the cuts to the abc, the carbon tax, the ESL tax, the Desal plant levy that increased our water rates, I didn’t vote to have our electricity so expensive more people are becoming disconnected than connected. I didn’t vote for any Government to continue blaming each other for their own bad management and bad behavior. I didn’t vote for the higher education tax, but lets face it, I had to pay my HECS debt off as a single mother with a mortgage and I know my daughter is paying hers off. I know people who have studied year in and year out and haven’t paid a single cent, I didn’t vote up to pay anybody else debts off, I have enough of my own. I am still studying and paying as I go, I owe it to my grandchildren not to leave them with my debts.

I didn’t vote to see children in detention centres, trust me I didn’t I can not believe that they are not even given the opportunity to be schooled whilst they are there, what is that? At least give them an outlet to work their way out of their circumstances. I didn’t vote to be given I didn’t vote for anyone to lose their jobs because of fiscal mismanagement. I don’t recall voting for any person, male or female who can promise anything they can’t deliver.

What I did vote for hasn’t come to fruition, I voted for a free and democratic society,  I voted for whom I thought would Govern  fairly and responsibly and sadly neither party is on the same page as me, neither Federal or State. I didn’t vote to pay excessive ESL, knowing that my husband is in the CFS and Feb last year we (he & I) had to sit in his Ute and watch an enormous fire come out of the national Park that wasn’t maintained properly jump the fence and burn our property. I had to help fight a fire and now I am paying for it as is every South Australian.

All these years these people have in government, either in opposition or in power and not one of them can get anything right, they are so busy blaming each other for bad management they are failing the people who want direction, voted for them on a basic sets of beliefs and principles and we find they are all lacking in the basics of budget and management . There is an election going on in Victoria today and the comment was said to me which one of the liars will I vote for?

Sad indictment of our political parties today. There will be winners and losers, who catch phrase is to know what the people want, when they don’t they get well paid, pensions for life and have no understanding of how hard it is for most average wage earners to make ends meet.